30 April 2017

NEXOGON: Starglider

Posted by Admin
We welcome Luc Byard back today with another exciting creation using LEGO® part 27255, giving us insight into how he came up with this sleek starglider.

It began with a Nexogon on its edge. The idea was to use it as the central piece and build a cockpit forwards from it and a tri-cluster of engines and wings back from it using the Nexogon to influence the overall shape.

Before I got very far, I found a pretty but not very useful way of nesting cheese slopes - Roof Tile 1x2x2/3 (Design ID 85984) - inwards to form a ‘flux capacitor-style’ Y shape.

I tried to have this behind the pilot seat and promptly greebled up some engines out of the studded side but the progress I had made didn’t allow me to properly develop the cockpit and solve the biggest problem my idea faced: strength.

The issue surrounded hanging an entire MOC off of the few studs and clip-bars of a single Nexogon. I decided that to give the cockpit a strong enough frame that wouldn’t just drop off I needed to connect the studs on one side of the Nexogon to the clip-bar opposite.

My solution was far from perfect, using the axle hole on a slotted 2x2 brick (Design ID 90258) to cope with the non-standard distances involved, but worked well enough and also gave me the freedom to place the floor plate upside-down, making it easier to decorate the underside. It also gave me additional anchorage for what were becoming two rather heavy appendages.

The twin-boom aspect of the design flowed from deciding what to do with each of the six directions of building that the Nexogon gave me. To the lower sides, I decided a couple of boxy prongs with intakes but instead of building them out square, I managed to incorporate a variety of bows that added much unexpected curvature. While this was going on, I had also spotted the canopy from my U-Wing - Cockpit 4x8x2 w/angle/shaft (Design ID 21849) - waiting to be dismantled in the breaker box and started looking at what I could do with the top left and right connections to fill the gap. Canopy integration techniques is like a sub-genre of Space building, one that I particularly enjoy, and I was very pleased with how the long bows - Left and Right Shell 3x10 (Design IDs 50955 and 50956) - rested against it.

Building out the section to try and meet up with the two booms took trial and error and while there are aspects of the final design that I’m not happy with, I think it works well overall. The two diagonal 2x2 tiles (Design ID 3068) are not only a visual go-between for the two sections but they also serve to hold the top section in tightly while still allowing them to be opened out for the canopy to be raised.

With the twin booms angling inwards on the inside to meet the canopy, I was left with an awkward space to fill. As this is a Nexogon parts festival, it was the first piece I tried and I was surprised how well it filled the space. To create the nose, I used a 3x3 parabola (Design ID 43898) on a 4L bar (Design ID 30374) which connected to a Technic pin slotted into the Nexogon. On the internal side of that, I constructed the controls for the pilot.

Determined to keep my ‘Y’ shaped feature, which was now facing the rear, I was able to attach Mixel joints such as Plate 1x2 Ball d5.9 Middle (Design ID 14417) and construct engine cowling that sat snug but on a slightly off angle to maintain the aesthetic. These were built in parallel with the engines, making adjustments to each as I went along in order to keep the fit close.

I’m extremely happy with how this turned out: While the Nexogons are not easy to spot, the structure of the part was hugely influential in the design. I’ve pushed the tolerances in a lot of places to make it work but it’s remarkably robust and has all the curvy hall-marks of my design aesthetic. This one will be on display for quite some time.

Indeed, it will be on display on the New Elementary table at Bricktastic in Manchester, 1 & 2 July 2017! Thanks Luc.

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  1. This is masterful. Your final ship is a delight of interesting / chunky / elegant shaping, and I love how it all started with this part. Such wonderful work!

  2. Wow! Very elegant with a great color scheme! I like the triangles created with cheese slopes. I did not realise that they could make that. I like the engine pod shape!

  3. Oh man! That cockpit space is amazing! Not to mention the whole ship...